Back Pain Diagnosis

Types of Back Pain Diagnosis

  1. X-rays
    X-rays are the foremost investigations that may be done when you visit your doctor. The x-rays may give valuable information regarding your bones, their alignment, and their structure. It may show any destruction of bone due to any of the reasons mentioned above.Your doctor may want to get x-rays of your back at various angles to see some parts of the back clearly (for pars interarticularis, you may require oblique x-ray views of your back). To check for any malalignment or abnormal movement of your back bones, your doctor may ask to get x-rays of your back in certain positions like with your body bent forward or backwards, or bending sideways.Sometimes, special x-rays known as BMD (bone mineral density) testing may also be required in cases of osteoporosis.
  2. MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
    With the advent of technology, it is now possible to see various structures in your back more clearly. MRI may show various structures like intervertebral discs, ligaments, muscles, and joints more clearly. Your doctor may get MRI done for you after examining you to rule out various possibilities of back pain as mentioned above.You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire form before MRI as in some cases, the radiologists may need to inject special dyes in your blood to visualize some conditions more clearly.MRI is not suitable for patients having implantable devices in their body, like pacemakers or brain vascular clips.  You may have to consult your doctor and radiologist regarding the same before undergoing MRI. Most of the recent spinal implants are MRI compatible as they are non-magnetic alloys.
  3. CT (Computerised tomography scan)
    CT Scans may show your bones and joints more clearly. Your doctor may order a CT scan where planning for your operation (if decision is for surgery) requires bony details of your back. It may also be used when MRI is not feasible for you.
  4. EMG/NCS (Electromyography / nerve conduction study)
    These are the tests used to check the integrity of the functioning of your nerves, which supply and control your limbs. These may be ordered by your doctor in certain instances to correlate the examination findings with your back pain symptoms.
    Some of the common blood tests done for back pain are to rule out infective and inflammatory causes. Osteoporosis workup may also require some blood tests to be done. Suspicion of tumor may also require some blood tests to be done.

Learn more about the  Symptoms of Back PainCauses of Back Pain, Non-Surgical Back Treatment and Surgical Treatment for Back Pain. For a comprehensive consultation to decide which surgical back pain treatment is best suited for your health, contact our spine specialist Dr Hee Hwan Tak today. Visit Dr Hee Hwan Tak’s Google+ page here.


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